Nov. 21, 2003
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- The Tennessee men's swimming team set the season's fastest times in the country in four events Friday evening at the Nike Cup Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Volunteers qualified an additional three swimmers for the NCAA championship meet to bring their total of the meet to 10. Meanwhile, the Tennessee divers turned in a pair of strong performances in Houston, Texas.
"It was another fantastic evening for the Vols," head coach John Trembley said. "These guys are really on fire. It feels like we're winning the NCAA meet right now."
The Vols set the fastest time in the country in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Casey Dauw, Bryan Goldberg, Bradley Boswell and Tyler Gustafson touched the wall in 6:27.56. The Vols also set the top time in the country in the 200-yard medley relay with the team of Josh Fulton, Andrew Bree, Andrew Engle, and Raymond Rosal. Rosal anchored the attack in 19.80 seconds to add another NCAA-qualifying time of 1:27.96.
"The sprint group has been working a lot on our relay transitions," Rosal said. "The guys are excited to be here, and the most important thing is that we qualify as many people as we can for the NCAA championships."
Bree and Michael Russo gave the team a 1-2 finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. In winning the event, Bree broke former Vol Olympian Jeremy Linn's pool record and set the fastest time in the country this year with a 53.94 second preliminary swim and 54.02 in the finals. Russo set a personal best in the event by touching the wall in 54.85.
The Vols took four of the top five spots in the 200-yard freestyle. Goldberg won in 1:36.33. Gustafson came in second with 1:36.99 (1:36.49 in the preliminaries), giving the pair the top two times in the country this season. Boswell (1:37.16) finished third to give the Vols the 1-2-3 sweep, and Evan Nylander placed fifth (1:38.11).
Tennessee continued its winning streak in the 400-yard individual medley with Dauw putting up a new school record of 3:47.32. Chris Franklin followed in fifth (3:58.77) and Travis Wright in 11th (4:04.54).
Fulton and Jamie Graves had top-10 finishes in the 100-yard butterfly. Fulton finished third in 48.56 and Graves followed in fifth with 48.93.
Fulton won the 100-yard backstroke in 48.36 seconds, while Engle placed 11th in 50.39.
Meanwhile, in Houston, the Volunteer divers had another strong day.
In the one-meter competition, John Venditti qualified for the NCAA Zone B Diving Meet to be held in March to join teammate Jevon Tarantino, who added his second win of the meet with 579.8 points. Venditti finished second with 484.8.
"John has never qualified for the NCAA Zone B Diving before, so this should be a huge boost in confidence for him," head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "John nailed a brand new dive we created for him. I was very pleased with how Jevon did today, he had some very big dives."
Both competitions will resume at 10 a.m. tomorrow.